Fighting the Right

Mississippi Anti-Gay 'Religious Freedom' Legislation Is Even 'Broader Than The Arizona Bill'

UPDATE: The Mississippi Business Journal reports: “The Mississippi House of Representatives Civil Subcommittee late Wednesday voted to strike provisions of a so-called ‘religious freedom’ bill.”

The Mississippi state legislature may soon approve its own anti-gay “right-to-discriminate” bill, which already passed the State Senate as part of legislation that adds “In God We Trust” to the state seal.

The Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty criticized a similar bill in Georgia that the group warned would turn religion into “an automatic trump card.”

The Mississippi ACLU said the bill may even go farther than the legislation passed in Arizona: “We are worried that this bill is broader than the Arizona bill. The bill would allow the government finding of discrimination by defining ‘burden’ to include withholding government benefits.”

The ACLU reports:

Senate Bill 2681, the Mississippi Religious Freedom Restoration Act, does not restore or expand religious freedom. It is simply a license to discriminate.

-In its current form, this law could allow people to argue that their religious beliefs exempt them from complying with laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, sex, religion, color, and national origin.

-This law would give private individuals and businesses a free pass to discriminate. This will allow businesses to deny basic services under the guise of religious freedom.

-This law would not protect against government funding of discrimination. By defining “burden” to include withholding of government benefits, religious organizations and individuals may use the statute to challenge exclusion from governmental programs. This could result in government funding of not only religious ends and activities, but also discrimination.

-This bill would do nothing more than allow the use of religion to discriminate and burden hardworking businesses with the threat of frivolous lawsuits.

Fischer: Opposition To Arizona's Legal Discrimination Law Is Jim Crow Discrimination Against Christians

On his radio program today, Bryan Fischer offered up another defense of the Arizona law that would allow businesses to legally discriminate against gay customers in the name of protecting "religious liberty," declaring that opposition to the law is itself an effort to institute Jim Crow laws that discriminate against Christians.

"Yeah, Jim Crow is back," Fischer said, "but it's because of the work of Big Gay and their allies, including the NFL."

Claiming that the NFL has threatened to move the Super Bowl from Arizona if Gov. Jan Brewer does not "bow the knee to the God of Gayness" and veto the legislation, Fischer asserted that the NFL is essentially trying to segregate Arizona from the rest of society.

"In other words, what the NFL is saying to Arizona [is that] if you don't bow the knee to the God of Gayness, you cannot sit at our lunch counter. Now that, ladies and gentlemen, is Jim Crow":

Arizona Tea Party Group Defends SB 1062: 'The First Amendment Protects Only The Practice Of The Christian Faith'

An Arizona-based Tea Party group is rallying around the state’s ‘right-to-discriminate’ legislation, SB 1062, by claiming that “the First Amendment protects only the practice of the Christian faith.”

The Williams Tea Party of Coconino County defended the anti-gay bill on its website, alleging that “the First Amendment protects only the practice of the Christian faith” and that the First Amendment “protects the right of those of the Christian faith to not serve those who are clearly abhorrent to that faith.”

The group also attacked a pastor who joined a protest against the bill, saying that the pastor must not have read the Bible.

The First Amendment protects only the practice of the Christian faith.

The Arizona Republic gathered the twenty, or so, protestors against S.B. 1062 close together for a photo to place on the front cover of their Thursday edition. The gathering together is an attempt to show that thousands of protestors came to their demonstration.

In the center of the photo they placed a guy who just happens to be able to afford the tab-collar clergy shirt with a sign about how religions should be against this legislation. I am not sure from which Internet “U” this person obtained his certification, but they certainly had no requirement to read the Bible.

The “columnists” at the Republic are in full swing typing out their indignation at the “discrimination.”

Of course, when you are dealing with a group of people who get their Constitutional training from the Salon and Russia Today web sites, it is difficult for them to understand that this legislation should never have been written. You see, there is already a law that protects the right of those of the Christian faith to not serve those who are clearly abhorrent to that faith.

It’s called the First Amendment.



The First Amendment was meant only to protect the Christian faith. When the founders spoke of religion, they meant the Christian religion. They did not have to keep saying the Christian religion because everyone knew that is what they were talking about.

Gohmert Endorses Arizona Anti-Gay Bill For Challenging 'The Religion Of Secularism'

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) says he is a fan of the Arizona bill that would pave the way for legal anti-gay discrimination by businesses. Speaking today with Janet Mefferd, Gohmert said that the law would merely uphold constitutional principles.

“These are religious beliefs and how have we gotten so far afield from the Constitution that we say, well if you’re not willing to embrace the liberal beliefs that we have then your religious beliefs are not protected,” Gohmert said. “It doesn’t say that in the Frist Amendment, it avoids the establishment of a religion. Well some are establishing the religion of secularism and everybody else’s religion has just got to basically go to blazes.”

He also claimed President Obama would have lost the 2008 election if he had supported marriage equality then: “Let’s face it, if the president had said he believed marriage was between two men and two women back when he and [John] McCain were being interviewed in California, he would never have won the first election. But he changed his stated belief and that got him elected and once in it’s easier to get re-elected to a second term.”

Gohmert also claimed that the gay rights movement is undermining the Civil Rights Movement and moved the U.S. away from God.

“Some of them are very shocked, they participated in the Civil Rights Movement and then to turn around and have gay rights folks saying now ‘you can’t practice your religious beliefs,’ wait a minute, wait a minute, we stood up for you and your beliefs and now you’re saying we can’t stand up for our beliefs because they conflict with you? That’s now what freedom is about.”

Glenn Beck Supports Arizona's Legal Discrimination Law: 'That's Freedom'

Do you recall the story Glenn Beck told a few years back when he traveled to New York City and he was treated badly when he dined in several restaurants and then treated even worse on his flight back to Texas?

Beck railed about it on his program the following week, repeatedly complaining that he was treated "as a subhuman," stating that he "just wanted to be treated as a human" who was worthy of dignity and respect:

I’m tired of being treated as a criminal, a disease, mentally challenged, stupid, or subhuman just because I happen to believe that the founders weren’t racists, that the Constitution was and still is inspired and the greatest document for government ever created, that the military is not full of a bunch of baby‑killers, or that we shouldn’t spend the money that we don’t have, or that we should stick up for the little guy, the small business owner, that the corrupt businessman should go to jail and that capitalism is still the best system to lift people out of poverty. I will not shy away from saying proudly that I believe in God, that I believe churchgoers in all churches get a bad rap. We are good people and the reason, Christians are the reason the Nazis were stopped, slavery was stopped, and man was eventually set free all over the planet. It was Christians that did it. I’m sorry that you might find that offensive, or that I ‑‑ that I go to church and you find that offensive, or that I happen to go to the wrong church and you find that offensive. But I will not apologize for what I believe in or who I am. Because what I believe in compels me to stand up for you and your right to be who you are. I’d just like to be treated with a little dignity along the way.

Given that experience, you'd think that he would be opposed to the Arizona legislation that would allow business to discriminate against gay customers (or anyone else, for that matter) in the name of "religious liberty," would you not?

Well, you'd be wrong, as he voiced his support for it during yesterday's morning meeting, saying that while he doesn't necessarily like it, he doesn't see anything hateful about it.

"I don't like that world," Beck said, "where everybody is able to say 'I'm not going to serve your kind' but that's freedom. That's freedom. Freedom is ugly":

Robertson: Impeach Eric Holder For 'Elevating' Sodomy Above The First Amendment

Pat Robertson today endorsed a campaign to impeach Eric Holder because of the attorney general’s stance on marriage equality.

“I really think the House should impeach Holder,” the 700 Club host said. “There should be a move of impeachment in the House and he should resign.”

“What we’re seeing now more and more is the rights of homosexuals, the practice of homosexuality, sodomy, consensual sodomy, is being raised and elevated above the rights of religious believers and that is terrible,” he said, warning that gay rights is trampling on the First Amendment.

Stockman: Obama Administration Marriage Equality Stance 'Setting Up For A Dictatorship'

Texas congressman and U.S. Senate candidate Steve Stockman criticized the Obama administration’s position on the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) during an interview yesterday with Religious Right talk show host Janet Mefferd.

Stockman said the administration’s refusal to defend DOMA “undermines the whole concept of our country” and insisted that people “should have pickets” in Washington. “You’re really setting up for a dictatorship,” he said. “It’s really pretty frightening for the children and grandchildren down the road, this is really a dangerous example to set.”

Of course, Obama is far from the first president to decline to defend a federal law the administration deemed unconstitutional.

CWA: Fight 'The Homosexual Lobby' Before 'We End Up Losing Our Freedoms'

Mario Diaz of Concerned Women for America, still reeling from Virginia marriage equality advocates’ victory in federal court, warns in a blog post today that gay rights gains “are costing us our freedoms.” While Diaz doesn’t exactly explain what freedoms he lost when a judge struck down Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage, he writes that the “homosexual lobby” is “corroding our freedom.”

He claims to be upset about a pro-marriage equality petition to the appeals court and insists that conservative groups would never ask people to sign a petition to a court since they have “respect for our Constitution and the rule of law.”

Diaz might be interested to know that his own group is currently circulating a petition to “urge the Supreme Court to strike down the [Obamacare] law in its entirety.”

The anti-gay activist adds that just as the nation’s founders “defeated a great and mighty foe to establish the principles of freedom and liberty,” fellow conservatives must “stand before the challenges of our day in the same manner, knowing that truth will prevail, trusting that Providence guides and guards us through it all.”

Today’s version of the judiciary is a mere caricature of what the Founders intended.

The homosexual lobby has turned to the courts time and again to overrule the vote of the people, re-write legislation and even initiate executive action. They applaud all these efforts, even when they are costing us our freedoms.



With this new effort of lobbying the courts, the homosexual lobby aims at that which is supposed to be the benchmark of justice, impartiality. This ends-justify-the-means mentality is corroding our freedom, and we must stand forcefully against it.

We must resist the temptation to use the same tactics. Influence in the courts is brought through legal arguments and respect. Respect for our Constitution and the rule of law. The ends do not justify the means. The means matter. And no matter how dirty the other side plays, we must win in the right way.

What good is it to us to “win” an argument if we end up losing our freedoms? No, we must win with an approach that upholds the values that have made our country great. Yes, it is difficult. But it is possible. Our Founders showed us that.

Against all odds, they defeated a great and mighty foe to establish the principles of freedom and liberty we fight for today. We stand before the challenges of our day in the same manner, knowing that truth will prevail, trusting that Providence guides and guards us through it all.

We stand on the right side of history. For we stand for truth, freedom and liberty. Be encouraged!

Fischer: The US Should Only Accept Christian Refugees

On his radio broadcast today, Bryan Fischer read from a post by Pamela Geller warning that hundreds of Muslims refugees fleeing the civil war in Syria were arriving in the United States, a development which Fischer vehemently opposed because the only refugees that the United States should accept are Christians who are fleeing Muslim persecution.

Arguing that nobody is vetting these Syrian refugees in order to determine"if they've been involved in jihad," Fischer asserted that "if we're going to bring refugees from the war-torn nation of Syria, it ought to be reserved for Christian refugees who are fleeing Muslim persecution":

West: Hagel Is A 'Traitor,' Obama Only Helps People On Welfare

Former congressman Allen West is furious about the announcement of new defense budget cuts, calling them “unconscionable” and part of “Barack Obama’s game plan to weaken the United States of America.”

In an interview with the American Family Association’s Sandy Rios today, West called defense secretary Chuck Hagel a “turncoat” and a “traitor to the men and women in uniform.”

The Tea Party leader told Rios that the Obama administration wants to intentionally harm military service members and their families because they are “not their constituency.”

“Their constituency is basically the welfare nanny state, their constituency are the people who they can get hooked on government largesse, their constituency is the growing poverty class and also the growing food stamp class,” West said.

“American strength is a stench to them,” he added, claiming Obama went around the world “apologizing for America’s strength.”

West later railed against “progressive socialists” for their opposition to bans on gays in the military and women in combat roles.

Owens: Holder 'Shredded' The Constitution 'In Order To Impose A Radical Homosexual Agenda'

Anti-gay activist William Owens is pushing for the impeachment of Attorney General Eric Holder for “trampling the rule of law” by trying “to coerce states to fall in line with the same-sex ‘marriage’ agenda.”

Holder recently said that state attorneys general are not obligated to defend discriminatory laws such as marriage bans that they deem unconstitutional.

Writing today for the Washington Times, Owens says that Holder effectively “shredded” the Constitution and that the attorney general and President Obama have turned “their backs on the black community” by supporting marriage equality.

Mr. Holder could have physically shredded a copy of the U.S. Constitution at the podium that evening, and it would not have been a more eloquent statement of how far he and the president are willing to go in order to impose a radical homosexual agenda to redefine marriage on our entire nation.



I am ashamed of Mr. Obama and Mr. Holder for turning their backs on the black community and the values that we hold dear — values we want strengthened and promoted rather than weakened and undermined. The ongoing progress of civil rights rightly calls for the building up of a healthier marriage culture. Instead, our elected leaders are bent on destroying marriage, remaking it as a genderless institution and reorienting it to be all about the desires of adults rather than the needs of children.

However, the problem is not merely that the president and his administration — in particular, Mr. Holder — are promoting this radical agenda. The problem is that they are trampling the rule of law in order to do it. When the top law enforcement officer in the nation runs roughshod over the rule of law, that problem cannot be ignored.

That is why I am calling for the attorney general to be impeached and to be held accountable for his abandonment of the oath he swore in taking office.

The Coalition of African American Pastors, which I represent, is asking for 1 million signatures on a petition urging Congress to take action against Mr. Holder for his reckless disregard of the laws that bind our social fabric together, and for his attacks upon the institution of marriage, which forms the very foundation of our society.

Public Turning Against the Private Prison Racket

PFAW’s 2012 report, “Predatory Privatization: Exploiting Financial Hardship, Enriching the One Percent, Undermining Democracy,” included a section titled, “The Pernicious Private Prison Industry.” We reported that across the country, private prisons were often violent, poorly run facilities that put prisoners, employees and communities at risk even while failing to deliver on promised savings to taxpayers. But state legislators, encouraged by ALEC and by private prison interests’ lobbying and campaign expenditures, continued to turn prisons over to private corporations, often with contract provisions that acted as incentives for mass incarceration.

A new story in Politico Magazine, “The Private Prison Racket” comes to the same conclusions. “Companies that manage prisons on our behalf have abysmal records,” says author Matt Stroud. “So why do we keep giving them our business?”

The Politico story slams “bed mandates” – guarantees given by states to private companies to keep prisons full.  Contracts like that build in incentives for governments to lock people up – and punish states financially when they try to reduce prison populations.

Politicians are taking notice. Last month, In the Public Interest reported that reality has turned the tide against private prisons: “Coast-to-coast, governments are realizing that outsourcing corrections to for-profit corporations is a bad deal for taxpayers, and for public safety.” The dispatch cited problems with private prisons in states as diverse as Arizona, Vermont, Texas, Florida, and Idaho, where Gov. Butch Otter, a “small government” conservative, announced last month that the state would take control of the Idaho Correctional Center back from private prison giant Corrections Corporation of America due to rampant violence, understaffing, gang activity, and contract fraud.

But the huge private prison industry is not going away anytime soon. As In the Public Interest notes:

All of this momentum does not suggest the imminent death of the for-profit prison industry. Some states, including California and West Virginia, are currently gearing up to send millions more to these companies. But the past year has been a watershed moment, and we are heading in the right direction. In light of these developments, these states would be wise to look to sentencing reform to reduce populations, rather than signing reckless outsourcing contracts.

The arguments against private prisons are myriad and compelling. Promised savings end up as increased costs. Lockup quotas force taxpayers to guarantee profits for prison companies through lock up quotas hidden in contracts. They incentivize mass incarceration while discouraging sentencing reform in an era when crime rates are plummeting.

But more than anything else, the reality of the disastrous private prison experiment has turned the public against the industry.

 

PFAW

Meet Justina Pelletier, The Religious Right's Next Campaign

For the last several months, Glenn Beck has tirelessly focused on a case involving a young woman named Justina Pelletier who was diagnosed by one set of doctors at Tufts Medical Center as having a condition known as mitochondrial disease, for which she had been receiving treatment. At one point, Justina became ill and ended up at the Boston Children's Hospital to see her longtime gastroenterologist, who had switched hospitals, when doctors there determined that she did not, in fact, have mitochondrial disease but was rather suffering from a somatoform disorder, which is "a mental disorder characterized by symptoms that suggest physical illness or injury."

Justina's parents disagreed with the diagnosis given by Boston Children's Hospital and sought to discharge their daughter but the hospital refused, instead informing them that an allegation of medical child abuse had been filed against them. At that point, the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families got involved, taking custody of Justina, placing her under psychiatric care and limiting her contact with her parents.

That set off a long and on-going legal battle between Justina's parents and the state and while the case has been heavily covered in the local media, few outside of Glenn Beck have been paying much attention to the story. Beck continues to focus attention on it daily and last week, Justina's father appeared on his television program in violation of a gag order, for which he is now facing contempt charges.

Those were the latest developments until, suddenly, a bunch of Religious Right groups got involved in the fight yesterday, including Patrick Mahoney, who was deeply involved in the Terry Schiavo fight, and Personhood USA, as the two groups announced that they would be protesting outside the Suffolk County Juvenile Court during a hearing that was scheduled to take place regarding Justina's case.

On top of that, Liberty Counsel's Mat Staver just as suddenly announced that he was the Pelletier family's legal counsel and his organization made this case its top priority as Staver began making the rounds promoting it on Fox and elsewhere.

Why, after months of total silence and literally no interest, did several Religious Right organizations suddenly and collectively begin to care about this case, all on the same day? 

Well, as Beck explained on his radio program today, last week an unnamed billionaire benefactor of his The Blaze network saw the program featuring Justina's father and was so outraged by it that he vowed to hire a legal team and turn this into a crusade:

As Beck said, the "new attorney" hired by this benefactor would be appearing on his program tonight to discuss the latest developments in this case ... and that attorney is none other than Mat Staver:

Mathew Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel, will appear on the Glenn Beck TV Show today from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time to discuss the ongoing story of Justina Pelletier, who was taken from her parents and is currently being denied medical treatment.

So that at least seems to explain why, all of a sudden, a bunch of Religious Right groups have gotten involved in this complex and frequently confusing case: because some unnamed billionaire is footing the bill for them to do so.

Michael Brown Defends Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Law As Necessary To Fight HIV/AIDS

Religious Right talk show host Michael Brown said yesterday on Line of Fire Radio that Americans shouldn’t oppose the new Ugandan law which makes being gay a criminal offense warranting life imprisonment.

Brown said that the law is necessary to fight the spread of HIV/AIDS and combat pedophilia, arguing: “Uganda has some very strong reasons for having issues with homosexual practice.”

Brown added: “What Uganda said is we are against gay propaganda in the schools, we are against kids being indoctrinated into these things or being told that this is normal and acceptable, we are against open homosexual practice and you may have some laws that seem harsh and draconian, it’s also part of African law and African culture.”

Cathi Herrod: Soldiers Fought Wars To Preserve Right To Discriminate Against Gays

The president of a right-wing Arizona group that’s advocating for the state’s gay segregation bill said yesterday that the extremist legislation is simply an expression of the religious freedom that American service members fight to preserve.

Speaking withto Family Research Council president Tony Perkins on yesterday’s edition of Washington Watch, Cathi Herrod of the Center for Arizona Policy accused the bill’s opponents of “incredible hostility to religion.”

“Our first freedom, our ability to live out our religious belief as our founders intended, as wars have been fought for our right to live out our religious belief, that is what is very much under attack,” Herrod said, adding that she is shocked that people would oppose the right-to-discriminate bill. “This was non-controversial until the last four or five days.”

She told Perkins that listeners should “pray for a miracle and to pray for an intervention” for the governor to sign the legislation.

ADF: Religious People Will Become 'Second Class Citizens' If Gay Segregation Bill Isn't Signed Into Law

In an interview yesterday on Line of Fire Radio, Alliance Defending Freedom counsel Joseph La Rue defended the Arizona gay segregation that bill the ADF helped craft.

La Rue insisted that religious people will be “treated as second class citizens by their government” if the legislation — passed by both houses of the Arizona legislature — isn’t signed into law, and preposterously claimed that the bill “is not about denying service.”

“Comparing it to Jim Crow is just beyond the pale,” he said.

Truth In Action Ministries: Grammys Sign Of God's Judgment On America

Truth in Action Ministries spokesmen John Robe and Jerry Newcombe are lashing out at this year’s Grammy Awards show for featuring a mass wedding celebration that included same-sex couples. While discussing the Grammys on Sunday’s edition of Truth That Transforms, Newcombe asked: “How low can we go?”

“It’s as if we’ve gone as far as we can go now,” Rabe said, adding that he was offended that the wedding service included a church background and choir.

Rabe said the ceremony was proof that we’re in “a culture under judgment,” while Newcombe worried that people from around the world will think “Americans are into” gay marriage.

Watch:

Wiles And Son: Pat Robertson Attacked Young Earth Creationism Because He Wants To Fit In

On yesterday's TruNews radio program, End Times broadcaster Rick Wiles brought his son Jeremy on to push back against Pat Robertson's recent assertion that Young Earth Creationism is "a joke."

As Jeremy Wiles explained, we could not possibly know that the earth is billions of years old because Noah's flood would have washed away all the evidence. Thus, the reason that Robertson is making this claim, Wiles asserted, is because "he doesn't want to feel like an outcast" and is trying to make the Bible fit in with the secular scientific worldview.

But that is a losing strategy, he explained, because history has always shown that the Bible is one hundred percent scientifically accurate, which is why Christians have always known that the earth is round while it was the scientists who believed that the world was flat:

Jeremy Wiles: I think Pat is trying to fit the Bible into modern scientific  thinking. I really think that he feels the pressure from the scientific community, not so much because there's evidence to support billions of years but rather because he wants to conform to the idea so that he can have a more acceptable worldview. He doesn't want to feel like an outcast, but history has shown the Bible is scientifically accurate time and again. 

Scientists once thought the world was flat. Columbus faced opposition in his attempt to find a western route to Asia because people thought the earth was flat. But the Bible told us He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth. The Bible is teaching us the earth is a globe, it was round, it was a circle, a sphere.

Rick Wiles: And I think about Obama, when he wants to mock Christians or conservatives, he'll refer to them as the Flat Earth Society. But the Christians were not the ones who were saying the earth was flat, it was the scientists. The Christians knew the earth was round because they read the Bible and they believed the Bible.

For the record, the idea that most people believed the earth to be flat is a myth as "no educated person in the history of Western Civilization from the third century B.C. onward believed that the earth was flat."

National Religious Broadcasters: Boehner, GOP Leaders Agree Government Will Try To Shut Us Down

In an interview with the American Family Association’s Tim Wildmon at the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) convention yesterday, NRB president Jerry Johnson said that the FCC or the IRS will try to shut down religious television broadcasts as a result of “de facto Sharia law” and the issue of same-sex marriage.

“I think there is a de facto Sharia law effect, where we’re not under Sharia law but broadcasters feel like they can’t talk about Jesus and the Quran, Jesus and Mohammad,” Johnson warned. “The government has a new view of marriage, they are pushing it down and increasingly broadcasters and folks in industry—we’re seeing industry censorship.”

Later in the interview, Johnson said that he recently told Speaker John Boehner, Republican senators and congressman. and an FCC commissioner that “it won’t be long” until the FCC threatens broadcasters’ licenses or the IRS scrutinizes their tax status over their stance on same-sex marriage. “This threat is coming and I want to say all of these men agreed with me, all of them.” 

We can assure Johnson that every day we observe broadcasters—both secular and religious—criticize same-sex marriage and Islam without limits on their speech. 

Robertson: 'Un-American' To Oppose Anti-Gay Segregation Bills

Today on the 700 Club, Pat Robertson criticized Attorney General Eric Holder’s latest announcement on gay rights and defended the efforts of lawmakers in states such as Arizona and Kansas to legalize anti-LGBT discrimination. Robertson unbelievably claimed that such right-to-discriminate bills won’t hurt anybody: “What we’re looking at here is a basic fundamental right of American people to conduct their business in ways they want to as long as it doesn’t hurt somebody else.”

“There’s something un-American about forcing a bakery to bake a wedding cake for a couple they don’t like,” Robertson said. “If they don’t like the people, that’s the way it is.” He said that such businesses are merely following the leadership of the “Soup Nazi.”

“This is ridiculous.”

Watch:

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